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Read Journey to Next World, the first leg of this story, here. Topside, the world looks bigger because our minds are smaller. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from life underground, it’s that perspective is everything. Beelzebub and I started this journey into the earth on the breath of a dream. My dream. One that haunted my sleep night after night until I followed Bub to the soft soil where we dug up the door to Next World. When I saw my handprint on the door–knew I was the key–I

I sing in jazz clubs under the name Shadia. My following saw a swell in my mid-twenties. My voice has always been husky and a bit low. I love singing under dim lights to live music. I love having a secret life, somewhere I can go when parenting becomes too much. When I’m tired of the sun or the rain or the busy-making of today’s “music.” What I like about performing is that I’m seen, but I’m also part of the background. My voice is a prop for falling in

I knew I’d read about it somewhere: a man who could return the Woman’s Bond. It was a few days after the connection came alive to me—and, oh, how alive I feel now!—that the memory resurfaced. Really, it sort of niggled. I couldn’t shake the certainty that what I was doing should still be impossible. That this awakening wasn’t meant for me. Could I be good enough for this? After Jana shielded herself and retreated, the niggle became a nag. The nag became a shout. The shout was persistent. So

Miss a web-isode? Click here. “Hey, watch it!” Elric was in a foul mood. He still couldn’t uncover the answer to the question he’d been asking himself for the last month. It was crazy. He wouldn’t have posed the question—couldn’t have posed the question—if he didn’t already have the answer stored away somewhere in his mind. It was really about combining bits and pieces of Chronicles. He knew that. He had a formula for this sort of thing. So why was that answer still tucked away? Jana reached out to

Jana had pushed her bed against the wall in her room and now sat huddled in a corner. She wrapped her blankets around her head and shoulders leaving only a space for the fresh air touch her nose above her lip. It was quiet in here. Peaceful. She sighed and shuffled deeper into her comforter. Two walls held her as she tried to turn her mind off. On the other side of one wall, Bria was broadcasting her feelings, flipping them on and off like a light switch. Helene sat

New to The Docks? Click here for Episode 1. *** When they’d all left—all but Helene who’d insisted on staying close to Bria to be certain she wouldn’t disappear again—Bria collapsed on her bed and stared out the window. “You can tell me,” Helene said. “We’re in this together.” Bria met Helene’s gray eyes. “About the tie, I mean. I know you’re tied to me somehow. You could at least tell me why you did it. I mean, we were never even friends.” Bria gave a half-smile. “True. We weren’t really

New to The Docks? Click here for Episode 1. *** Would I have taken this path if I had known where it would lead me? Here is the road, stretched out in front of me. I know it winds and twists. It’s twisted me around already. But it is so long, it stretches for miles in front of my eyes. Out over the horizon it goes, and only when I get there do I see what curves I’ve followed. Hundreds of loops. I’ve gone away and back again only to be

New to The Docks? Click here for Episode 1. *** “I was doing it for both of you!” Jana was yelling. Bria gaped at her even though she had purposefully provoked her sister. Bria had been trying to get a rise out of Jana. She was just so angry with her sister. So stretched to the limit due to the strain Jana was causing on her bond with Helene. Bria had been yelling, but she dropped her voice to a reasonable level. “What I don’t understand is why you think you

New to The Docks? Click here for Episode 1. *** The green couch was soft under Jana. She let it hold her, let her weight fall down through it until she felt as though she were floating. Her feet rested lightly on the floor, barely brushing the long, wooden planks. It was warm here, in this room. It was warm and the air was heavy with age and the dusty sighs of a hundred bodies that had dwelled here and passed on. This creaky, swaying house was brimming with the echoes

New to The Docks? Click here for Episode 1. *** Elric’s eyes were on me when I came through the door. He said nothing. My younger brother generally kept to himself unless it was necessary to speak. In his opinion, our family shared too much, even though he was bonded to no one. His lack of ties to us must have presented it’s own difficulties, but if Elric were to be believed, and I didn’t know any reason why he shouldn’t be, the freedom was a fact he appreciated. To be

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